Responsibilities of the Product Owner in SCRUM

November 28, 2013
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If you know Scrum/Agile then have you ever wondered if there is something called an Agile Product Manager? If you understand Scrum/Agile properly, you would realize that there is a role like that. But this role is defined as the Product Owner.  The Product Owner is very different from a traditional Project Manager. The role of Product owner may vary depending on the situation in hand but there are certain activities the Agile Project Manager (or Product Owner) must perform.

The Product owner is in-charge of the Project and is ultimately responsible for Project Success, to stakeholders and to the company. With so much pressure on shoulders, it is easy to revert back to traditional Project Management method. Hence, to make Scrum work, the Product owner needs to prioritize different activities and focus on ones that are really important.

Here, we will discuss few activities that a Product Owner should perform for a successful Scrum project. A Product Owner,

1. Creates and MAINTAINs the Product Backlog. Since maintaining is an on-going activity that is why I have put so much emphasis on it. Since things keep changing very fast, it is important for Product Owner to keep his eyes on the ball.

Note: In order for the team to remain productive, It is good to prepare the Product Backlog prior to the Sprint Planning meeting.

2. Prioritizes the Backlog for the best possible returns prior to the Sprint Planning Meeting (the Product Owner may refer to the various tools and books). Hence each user story must be sequenced depending its priority.

3. Conveys the Vision and Goals at the beginning of every Release and Sprint. This prevents the team from any kind of deviation and act as a benchmark for the team to measure their activity and progress.

4. Represents the customer, interfaces and engages the customer. The product Owner should always involve customer and stakeholder and give them a confidence that the right product is being built.

5. Actively takes part in the daily Scrums, Sprint Planning Meetings and Sprint Reviews and Retrospectives. There are always excuses to miss these meetings but it is an opportunity for the Product Owner to analyse the mistakes and implement the changes, which is the key to successful projects.

6. Always communicates status externally. The product owner represents the Team to the outside world and should make sure that all channels of communications are open and projects have the support required to succeed.

7. Terminates a Sprint if it is known that a major change needs to be implemented.

Being a Product Owner can be really burdensome. So choose your Product Owner wisely, cause he will be the one who will being success or failure to the project or rather company.

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One Response to Responsibilities of the Product Owner in SCRUM

  1. Evan Stone
    November 28, 2013 at 11:30 PM

    Good overview, It would be great if you could do the same with Scrum Master :)

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